Nuclear negotiations
April 25, 2019

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on an island off Vladivostok, Russia, on Thursday for their first summit, Reuters reports. Kim arrived Wednesday in an armored train after saying during a stop en route that he hoped he and Putin could "discuss concrete questions about peace negotiations on the Korean peninsula, and our bilateral relations." Putin said he and Kim discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Kim wants to denuclearize, Putin said, but he needs "security guarantees" before he can do it. The meeting came after Kim's second summit with President Trump collapsed without a deal on denuclearization, leaving Trump's push for diplomatic progress with Pyongyang in limbo. Harold Maass

January 24, 2017

Now that President Trump has the nuclear codes in his hands, two Democratic lawmakers are hoping to make it a little harder for him to actually use them. On Tuesday, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) reintroduced a bill that would prevent Trump from launching a nuclear strike if Congress had not declared war. As it stands now, the president holds the right to launch a preemptive nuclear strike, a policy both Markey and Lieu oppose no matter who the president may be.

Markey and Lieu first tried to introduce this bill in September, after Trump suggested at a presidential debate that he couldn't "take anything off the table" when it came to nuclear weapons, including first strike. But now that Trump has actually been sworn into office, Markey and Lieu say this bill is more pressing than ever.

"It is a frightening reality that the U.S. now has a commander-in-chief who has demonstrated ignorance of the nuclear triad, stated his desire to be 'unpredictable' with nuclear weapons, and as president-elect was making sweeping statements about U.S. nuclear policy over Twitter," Lieu said in a statement. He urged Congress to pass a "system of checks and balances" to be "applied to the potentially civilization-ending threat of nuclear war." Becca Stanek

June 30, 2015

Iran and its negotiating partners agreed to extend to July 7 the deadline to reach a deal on the country's nuclear program, after they failed to meet the original target date of June 30. The announcement coincided with the return of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to the talks, boosting hopes that an agreement can be reached to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for world powers lifting economic sanctions against the country.

The Obama administration has by July 9 to send any agreement to Congress, which would then have 30 days to review the deal. If the White House misses that deadline, the review period would be extended to 90 days to accommodate Congress' summer recess. The Obama administration is concerned that the extra time might allow opponents an opportunity to mobilize against any agreement. Jeva Lange

June 30, 2015

Iran has converted "a substantial amount" of enriched uranium — a material that is crucial to the production of nuclear weapons — into a material that can't be used to make a bomb, The Associated Press reports. This reduction, which was "a key condition of a preliminary nuclear agreement" reached in November 2013, is expected to be officially announced Wednesday by the International Atomic Energy Agency, diplomats tell the AP.

Today is the deadline for a more comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran, although both U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have agreed to extend the conversation as a deal draws nearer. An agreement would curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for world powers lifting economic sanctions against the country. Jeva Lange

June 28, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry rejoined nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna on Saturday as the June 30 deadline for striking a deal approached. A senior U.S. official told The Associated Press on Sunday that talks wouldn't be finished by the Tuesday deadline.

Iran Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif planned to head home Sunday for consultations before returning to pursue a solution. The U.S. is pushing for more United Nations oversight of Tehran's compliance to the deal than Iran seems willing to allow.

An agreement is expected to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for world powers lifting economic sanctions against the country. Julie Kliegman

June 13, 2015

As the June 30 deadline for a final nuclear deal between Iran and world powers nears, President Hassan Rouhani said Saturday an agreement was "within reach."

Rouhani will allow inspections of Iran nuclear facilities, he said at a news conference, The Associated Press reports, but won't allow international powers to find his nation's "secrets."

Iran has been negotiating with the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany. They hope to curtail Rouhani's nuclear program in exchange for easing economic sanctions enforced in Iran. Julie Kliegman

March 4, 2015

One day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that ongoing nuclear negotiations would "pave Iran's path" to a bomb, the U.S. and Tehran announced progress toward a final deal.

"We have made some progress but have a lot of challenges yet ahead," a State Department official said, according to Reuters, following three days of talks in Switzerland.

The U.S., Iran, and world powers hope to establish a framework deal by the end of the month, which would be followed by a comprehensive agreement by June 30. Jon Terbush

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